Election 101: Ten facts about Michele Bachmann and her presidential bid

With her announcement Monday that she is entering the presidential race, Michele Bachmann has given the tea party a candidate to call its own. Is she capable of running a campaign that can withstand the rigors and scrutiny of the presidential process?

2. Does she have a real shot at winning the nomination?

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    Michele Bachmann is seen on the set before the taping of Iowa Public Television's Iowa Press on May 27 in Johnston, Iowa.
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Yes – a long shot, but a shot nonetheless. “It would be a mistake to rule her out completely,” warns Mr. Jacobs.

Bachmann’s supporters are ardent, and they have shown their enthusiasm by donating impressive piles of cash. In her last reelection effort, she raised more money than any other House member – more than $13 million, with much of the money coming from small donors outside her home state. In the first quarter of 2011 she outraised every other potential Republican presidential candidate, pulling in $2.2 million.

She’s also got some geographic advantages. Born in Waterloo, Iowa, Bachmann has a good chance of doing well in – or even winning – that state’s first-in-the-nation GOP caucuses, where evangelicals tend to have an outsized influence. She’s building a serious organization, with veteran strategist Ed Rollins on board. And her outspokenness – and penchant for controversial comments – means she’s unlikely to lack for media attention.

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